Chuck Landon: Elmore vows to be more aggressive

December 29, 2018

Jon Elmore has had enough.

Marshall University’s star point guard is tired of his highs and lows.

The 6-foot-3 senior is fed up with six-point scoring performances in losses to Maryland (104-67) and Texas A&M (92-68).

Elmore has had enough of his own inconsistencies.

So, what’s he going to do about it?

“I’m going to be ultra-aggressive,” answered Elmore firmly. “I haven’t been aggressive enough.”

Good answer.

“Yeah, I’ve just been real streaky,” he said. “I’ll hit six or seven 3s one game and then hit zero the next game. It’s just a matter of getting rolling and getting comfortable.

“Playing with confidence is the biggest thing. If you start second-guessing stuff, things aren’t going to go well. You just have to stay aggressive and keep fighting every play.”

Poor shooting performances in losses to Maryland, Duquesne and Texas A&M seemed to rock Elmore’s deep-seated confidence. This is his way of getting the two most important “C” words back into his vocabulary.

Namely, confidence and consistency.

“Yeah, definitely,” said Elmore. “I know I haven’t shot great and haven’t played phenomenal - near to the level I am capable of. I think a lot of our guys feel that way. Moving forward, I figure we’re going to get it together and we’re going to start playing better and better and play the Marshall basketball style that we know we are capable of.”

Sounds like a New Year’s resolution. Perhaps, it is considering Marshall plays unbeaten University of Virginia at 1 p.m. Monday on New Year’s Eve in John Paul Jones Arena at Charlottesville, Virginia.

What makes the matchup even more interesting is the matchup within the matchup. Elmore attended Chris Paul’s invitation-only point guard camp last summer along with Cavaliers point guard Ty Jerome.

“He’s about 6-foot-5,” Elmore said of Jerome, who averages 14.2 points and 4.3 assists. “A really good player. Smart. Good feel for the game. It will be a good matchup.

“We actually were on the same flight back from Paul’s camp. He was talking about their style of play vs. our style of play. We were just kind of talking ball the whole time. It was good to meet him and catch up. He’s a basketball mind. I think it will be a good matchup.”

Team-wise, MU vs. UVA is an interesting matchup because the contrast of styles is from one end of the spectrum to the other.

“We get up and down, fire ’em up and kind of force the action a little bit,” said Elmore, “whereas they play the backline, make you take tough, contested shots and slow the game down a little bit.

“They are one of the best defensive teams in the country. And I think when we’re rolling we’re one of the best offensive teams in the country. It will be an interesting clash.”

It boils down to a battle of pace.

“I think so,” said Elmore. “The way we want to play is we want to get up and down; we want to shoot quick, good shots and get rolling. If we’re not making shots, we look really bad. But when we’re making shots, we look really good.

“I think if we run our stuff we’ll be OK. We are going to have to go in and give them our best shot and see what happens.”

What needs to happen?

Jon Elmore needs to be more aggressive than ever.

Chuck Landon is a sports columnist for The Herald-Dispatch. Contact him at clandon@herald-dispatch.com.

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